Garry Booton looks at the Gossip surrounding F1 at the moment
The gossip in and around F1 has gone into overdrive this week. Usually towards the end of a Formula One season you can expect this sort of thing, but we have not even reached the half-way mark yet, and already the rumours are beginning to fly.
Let’s start with Ferrari, who it is claimed have made an approach towards Red Bulls Adrian Newey. The Italian press are saying that Newey has been told to name his price by Ferrari. Newey, unsurprisingly, has stated that he is “committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future”.
Adrian Newey has been a title-winning designer with three different teams over the years, and he is recognised within the paddock as a technical genius. With his statement that he is committed to Red Bull, and the fact in the past he has said that he and his family are happy in the UK (where Red Bulls operations are located), it is very unlikely that we will see him move on any time soon.
Ferrari were not finished with simply speaking to Newey though, as once again there is a rumour circulating that they wish to lure Sebastian Vettel away from Red Bull. Although they have approached Vettel in the past, there are signs that Ferrari could convince Vettel to join them next year. Vettel’s present contract with Red Bull finishes at the end of this season, so this particular rumour could really gain momentum.
Another driver who is being courted by other teams is none other than Romain Grosjean. This may seem surprising after his return to F1 just two years ago, where he picked up a race suspension due to his erratic driving. Lotus team boss Gerad Lopez has confirmed that there have been a couple of teams last year and this year who have been knocking on the door to find out what Grosjean is doing.
With Bernie Ecclestone’s time in F1 looking as if it is coming to an end, the front runner to succeed him has been rumoured to be Richard Scudamore. Scudamore, who is currently the Premier League’s chief executive, is said to be the “top of the shareholder’s” choice to become the next F1 chief executive. One newspaper claims that Formula One are just waiting to offer Scudamore the biggest job in world sport.
It is not only Ecclestone who could be leaving F1, as Jenson Button’s time as a driver could be also coming to an end. Button’s contract with McLaren finishes in a few months’ time, and although Jenson has said he is not ready to retire just yet, he has also said that at this late stage in his career, “I need to be in a car that is competitive”.
One thing that does bode well for Button remaining with McLaren next year is his long time link with Honda, who will be reuniting with McLaren in 2015. Also Ron Dennis, CEO of McLaren, has explained that at present there is no reason to replace Button.
With the start of this season full of questions such as ‘how reliable are the cars going to be’, and ‘who will be the winners in the new engine designs’, we are now asking, not if there will be a new chief executive for F1, but who it will be, and when will it happen?
One thing’s for sure, the 2014 Formula One season has, and still is changing the world of F1 in a way that has not been seen for decades. Amid all the rumours and speculations, F1 is evolving and moving forward, which can only be good for the sport.